I am known for bringing up controversial topics. This is going to stir up strong opinions from those that have relatives or friends in either prison or mental health units. I am going to make this comment as I’ve experienced both in my life and can therefore make a comparison. I am being honest from my experiences within both environments. I fully understand if others do not agree.
I thought prison was better than mental health services, including secure units, because the mental health services always put their service users down. They never truly believed in any of us. This meant that none of us felt that we could truly progress in life. It isn’t like that in the prison system. We go in there and even those with mental health problems have a chance of employment or some form of earning money. We are constantly encouraged to do better. On the outside we are stuck without employment because of the stigma. Out here all we get is punished for mental illness or autistic traits. Mental health services try to punish or medicate mental illness without the positive reinforcement. The reason why there is technically a revolving door of regulars going into prison is because they feel that someone believes in them in there. This is what a lot of them don’t get on the outside or in mental health units because they’re seen as incapable and never get the chance to progress in life.